Under a deal with Nauticus Robotics, Shell will use the company’s autonomous subsea robot to inspect its assets

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

September 20, 2023

1 Min Read
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Shell has awarded an offshore services contract to Nauticus Robotics, deploying the company’s autonomous subsea robot, the Aquanaut, for inspection services.

The inspection robot will be sent to perform “non-contact and contact” inspections of assets at Shell’s subsea field in the Gulf of Mexico, diving to depths of more than 3,000 feet. The partners said there is scope for additional inspection projects in the future, depending on the success of the initial contract.

The robot will be operated remotely by a pilot, leveraging Nauticus’ acoustic communications link.

The contract follows Nauticus’ successful qualification phase for autonomous methods of subsea operations for inspection services. In a statement, the companies said the project could lead to a “step change” in underwater operations, maturing technologies to enable safe, efficient projects in the offshore sector.

“Nauticus now has visibility of long-term inspection, maintenance and repair services work for Shell and the opportunity to become the preferred supplier for this advanced work,” said Nicolaus Radford, Nauticus’ CEO. “We recognize the significance of this opportunity with Shell and look forward to the execution of this project work.”

Alongside Aquanaut, Nauticus’ pipeline of underwater robots includes Hydronaut, an autonomous or remotely controlled small vessel, and the Olympic Arm, a robotic subsea arm device.

Related:Space Exploration Informs Deep Sea Robot

The company received a contract from the U.S. Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) last October to develop an autonomous system for Aquanaut, and a DIU contract in February for the use of its autonomous command and control platform, ToolKITT, in the U.S. Navy’s Defender Mission Specialist for inspection and security purposes. 

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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